Interviewalley's Blog

February 8, 2010

Celebrity Interviews

While promoting his new film ‘Edge of Darkness’ this week, Mel Gibson called one reporter an “a**hole” after he was asked to answer questions about his notorious drunken, anti-semitic tirade. Then, Gibson had a repeat outburt less than a week later when KTLA Los Angeles reporter Sam Rubin asked if his absence from the big screen had anything to do with his DUI arrest. Cue angry flip out.

Of course, Gibson isn’t the only star to have a verbal throw down with reporters. When it comes to interviews, some celebrities get defensive and instead of pleading the fifth, they go on a tirade instead. 

In case you missed it, Gibson became furious with two different reporters (from different networks) while promoting his latest flick. Gibson angrliy responded to interview questions once the focus turned to the touchy subject regarding his 2006 DUI arrest and his drunken tirade.
During ‘The Today Show,’ Matt Lauer asked Tom Cruise what he thought about Brooke Shields promoting medication to deal with postpartum depression. The tension quickly built, and Cruise grew testy debating the terrible side effects of antidepressants. (Scientology forbids the use of all psychiatric drugs.) As the debate got more heated, Cruise barely let Lauer have a word in. Then when Lauer asked Cruise how he could get more people to understand Scientology, Cruise responded, clearly angry, “You just communicate about it,” Cruise said. “If I want to know something, I go and find out. Because I don’t talk about things that I don’t understand.”

On May 19, 1999, daytime TV talk show host Rosie O’Donnell ambushed actor Tom Selleck for his support of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and demanded that he justify the freedom to buy assault weapons. Selleck found himself defending gun ownership, and after a long heated debate, Selleck finally added, “I didn’t come onto your show to have a debate. I came here to promote a movie… It’s your show, and you can talk about it after I leave.”
Prior to Mike Tyson’s fight against Francois Botha in 1999, reporter Russ Salzberg cut Tyson’s interview short when the boxer wouldn’t moderate his language. “Mike, uh, Francois Botha, 6-to-1 underdog. Are there any concerns on your part?” Salzberg starts the interview. Mike Tyson responds, “Uh, I don’t know anything about that. I don’t know nothing about the the numbers. I just know what I can do… I’m gonna kill this…” Cue f-bombs.

Calling in via satellite to promote ‘Kill Bill,’ Quentin Tarantino wasn’t too happy when one movie reviewer kept questioning the violence in his films. Tarantino explodes, “Because it is so much fun… You’re talking about real life. I’m talking about movie.” he says. Later he adds, “I didn’t make this movie for you.” The argument quickly turns hostile and sarcastic.

As stated in my Introduction to Lillian’s Interview Alley, all types of things lurk in an alley.  As our celebrities constantly remind us, an interview can become a very “sticky wicket.”

Your interview doesn’t have to end up like the celebrities.  Find out how to handle your interviews without expletives, anger, and/or “them is fighting words” mentality by visiting Lillian’s Interview Alley regularly.



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